Hey all, sorry it's been a while. Just had a lot of personal stuff going on lately. But I have good news! I've made some small progress on the shay. The neolube arrived a little while ago as well as the replacement engine castings from WMS.
The casting looks great! But sadly the engine is a little smaller that the one I originally was using. So proportionally it's a little smaller than I'd like. The other issue is that when assembled with the rest of the drive line, as per the instructions, and I had clearance issues again with the crank shafts and the rail head. I tried to file off some of the frame to raise the engine assembly, but still I didn't have enough clearance. I then loose fit the included replacement bolsters, but then the whole locomotive looked like it sat too high! So I tried something else and attached the engine assembly to the TOP of the frame. The clearance is more than adequate and I had to cut new square tubing, but it looks pretty good as the accompanying photos shows.
I also blackened the rest of the line shafts using neolube, which shows better in the next photo. I used it on everything and even the wheel faces. The shafts turn in a hit or miss kind of motion, sometimes they turn well and other times it doesn't. Especially when moving backwards.
As you can see the neolube has done wonders for the appearance of the line shafts! Though even when the solution has dried it doesn't take well to handling. It seems to rub off fairly easily. It may handle better if I use gloves next time.
Another thing I'm now experimenting with is a head light. I've had an old white metal headlamp casting, but no bracket. But on a whim I decided to use the Sn3 one supplied with the WMS kit, which really is the same as an HO scale bracket. I originally thought it was too small, but I tried it out and it doesn't look half bad! At least to my eye, which the following photos show.
The head light isn't fixed in place, it's just resting there with the aid of some over sized tweezers.But with the addition of the headlamp, the engines is starting to really look like a locomotive! Still have a long way to go, but at least it's coming along. So this isn't very much of an update, but it's something.